Tuesday, April 23

UCLA sand volleyball ends season of growth


Senior Madie Smith (left), Coach Stein Metzger (center), junior Zoe Nightingale (right) and the Bruins closed their season Sunday. (Jose Ubeda/Daily Bruin staff)

Senior Madie Smith (left), Coach Stein Metzger (center), junior Zoe Nightingale (right) and the Bruins closed their season Sunday. (Jose Ubeda/Daily Bruin staff)


It was a step in the right direction. A large one.

The season’s end came for the UCLA sand volleyball team Sunday, but it was a year grounded in the growth – a building block for the program.

There was then and now – last year and this year. After the team’s final match of the tournament, the Bruins took a time to reflect on that improvement.

“We’re definitely still on the preliminary stages of the program, so a lot of us are still pretty new to the sand,” said junior Karsta Lowe. “I think for the girls we have, we made really big strides.”

Over the weekend, UCLA dropped matches to Loyola Marymount University and USC, while notching its only win against Santa Clara.

But even after the unexpected number of losses, coach Stein Metzger focused on the future of the team.

In the grand scheme of things, he could see those results mattered little.

Over the coming months and year, the Bruins will add more sand-only players.

The starting freshman who struggled with ups-and-downs this year should be more prepared going forward. And the losses, though mounting over the season, should serve as learning tools.

In the long run, the program looks primed for even more growth.

“I think we had a lot of good things we’ve learned and we’re already excited to get ready for next year,” said sophomore Karly Drolson.

For the Bruins, the next step should be an even bigger one.

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